Reduction of post-ECT memory complaints through brief, partial restricted environmental stimulation (REST)

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1989;13(5):693-700. doi: 10.1016/0278-5846(89)90057-2.


1. A previous paper (Suedfeld, et al. 1987) reported on preliminary results of placing patients into a room with substantially reduced environmental stimulation (REST) immediately after recovery from ECT. 2. Comparing two depressed patients who had undergone this experience with three who had instead returned to their own hospital room (Ward), Suedfeld et al. (1987) found that the former registered much fewer complaints concerning memory loss related to ECT administration than the latter. 3. The current report extends this finding to a total of 19 patients, of whom 13 completed four testing sessions. Once again, objective tests of memory showed no significant change as a function of ECT. Both groups of patients complained of substantial memory disruption after the first ECT. By the one-week follow-up, such complaints were minimal among REST patients but showed only a slight decline among the Ward group. This was the only significant intergroup difference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / psychology
  • Memory Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged